Bar Code India (BCIL) is a system integration company in the field of Enterprise Mobility, Bar Coding and RFID. YourStory recently spoke to the entrepreneur behind BCIL, Ajay Bhutani who has clocked a revenue of INR 550 Million this year, to understand his go to market plan and how he is steering the venture.
How is Bar Code India different from other AIDC system integration service providers?
At BCIL it has always been about value addition for the customer. The biggest differentiation between BCIL and its competitors is the team at BCIL. BCIL has the most competent and skilled team in the industry and has the ability and skill to design , architect , build, deliver & integrate complex solutions which address the needs and problems of the customers.
How did the idea for Bar Code India come about? How did you zero in on the name ‘Bar Code India’? How much capital was required to implement the idea?
As entrepreneurs we keep looking for new growth opportunities and while travelling abroad I noticed this technology at retail stores. Realising, (12 years ago) the potential of growth in organised retail , bar coding seemed like a good industry to get into, also the realization that bar coding has far more applications than just retail. We always wanted a name which strongly suggested what the company does ,was easy to remember and had strong recall value, what better name than “Bar code India”. The initial capital invested in the company was around 1 crore spread over first few years.
Tell us your story before starting BCIL?
I am a graduate from SRCC (Delhi University) and have been involved in business from the age of 21(over 25 years of experience) .Have co promoted business in weighing, bar coding & manufacturing of RFID tags. My philosophy has to been to enter into new technologies at early stage and establish business with not very high initial capital investment. I strongly believe that for any business to be successful, besides of course a strong business model you need a focussed, skilled and dedicated team.Thats where I spend most of my time while setting up businesses and growing them.
Tell us about your clientele, market presence and the kind of revenue you are generating?
We have close to around 500 customers.We are the largest partner for Motorola solutions in India for the last over 5 years.Also we are partners with Zebra (US) & Microscan ( US) for their products , in India. We have clocked a turnover of INR 550 Million this year which clearly validates our leadership in the market.
Where do you see bar code industry and Bar Code India five years from now
Bar coding industry shall continue to grow at a minimum rate of 30% YOY for the next 5 years, due to still under penetration of this technology in all the verticals we work in .Having said that, at BCIL we see even higher growth coming from the enterprise mobility ,Ewlan and Rfid.
What is Bar Code India’s revenue model? Have you been funded? If yes, can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
The revenue of BCIL comes from - a)Sale of Hardware b) Services : Such as Consulting, software, system design & engineering, implementation, post sales support c) Sale of consumablesWe have only taken some debt for working capital from Citibank. The equity is closely held by promoters and some key employees.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
The biggest joy as an entrepreneur is to create something , i remember that when we started BCIL , for first 4 years we struggled to understand the technology, build skills , create and educate market, build team .It would be very challenging and sometimes also frustrating. Thinking back and realizing that have come a long way is the biggest joy. The challenge always remains is to sustain the high growth rate and attract , hire and retain skilled and motivated people.
You seem to be focused towards building a strong team, tell us about BCIL team?
We are a team of 110 + spread across the country ,we have offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata and a Software Development Centre. We have a very highly skilled team of about 25 people in Software development including project managers, team leaders and developers. Also we have a team of about 10 in pre sales, 25 in post sales support, 25 in sales. As we are growing at a rapid pace we are constantly looking out to hire.
BCIL Expansion Plans
Having gained deep domain knowledge of the verticals we operate in , we are now in the process of building couple of software products , this shall reduce our Go to market time for newer geographies and also the implementation time. For next few years we shall continue to invest in markets in A class cities. So far we were more focussed on the metros, however this year onwards we shall be investing in creating pre sales, sales and post sales presence in A class cities, in other words the focus would be to expand the reach. We are bullish on the expansion and have strategy in place but I would rather expect you to see them, then me making statements here.
Your Go to Market Strategy?
We have a vertical based Go to market approach keeping in mind the geographical presence of the industry in that vertical. For eg: Chennai, Pune and Delhi are major hubs for automobile, Mumbai similarly is for logistics. Our major verticals are Organised Retail, Logistics, Automobile& White goods, FMCG and Govt.In all the verticals we operate in we have at least 7 out of 10 largest players as our customers . Maruti, Hero Honda, Tata motors, Ford, Hyundai, Shoppers Stop, lifestyle, Metro cash & carry, Carrefour, Trent, Blue dart DHL ,FedEx, TNT, to name a few. The above mentioned verticals contribute major of revenue, however we see Pharma and healthcare as the fastest growing vertical for us and are therefore building solutions to address these fast growing verticals. We at BCIL have been growing over 30% YOY .This year (FY11) we have had an unprecedented growth of 63% in revenues over last year and clocked a turnover of over 55 crores. (FY11). We hope to keep up the strong momentum of growth that has been built for the current FY as well.West and South are the fastest growing regions for us and are leading the growth.
The largest revenue is contributed by our Enterprise Mobility practice, followed by Bar coding and RFID. We expect the same trend to continue. However we feel that the fastest growing shall be our RFid practice.
As an entrepreneur you seem to be doing all the right things, what drives you in this journey?
The biggest joy as an entrepreneur is to create something , I remember that when we started BCIL , for first 4 years we struggled to understand the technology, build skills , create and educate market, build team .It would be very challenging and sometimes also frustrating. Thinking back and realising that we have come a long way is the biggest joy.The challenge is to sustain the high growth rate and attract , hire and retain skilled and motivated people. I enjoy building things from a scratch and be in a position to create impact in so many lives. This keeps me driven and everyday I take as a new opportunity to learn and better myself and my venture.
YourStory wishes Bar Code India all the best with all their future endeavors! We will keep a track of all the latest happenings at their end. For more details check out http://www.barcodeindia.com/ and let us know what you think about this venture. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org